ARTICLE: Essential Documents for Your Estate Planning Consultation

Essential Documents for Your Estate Planning Consultation

When preparing for an initial estate plan consultation, it’s important to bring a variety of documents to provide a comprehensive overview of your financial situation, family dynamics, and your wishes. Here’s a list of common documents and information you should consider bringing:

  1. Identification: Valid government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, to verify your identity.


  1. Current Estate Plan Documents: If you have any existing estate planning documents like a will, trust, powers of attorney, or healthcare directives, bring those for review.


  1. List of Assets and Liabilities: Include details such as account numbers, balances, and institution names for bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts (IRA, 401(k), etc.), life insurance policies, and any other significant assets. For liabilities, include mortgages, loans, and other debts.


  1. Real Estate Documents: Deeds, mortgage information, and other documents related to properties you own.


  1. Business Ownership Documents: If you own a business, include partnership agreements, articles of incorporation, operating agreements, and other relevant business documents.


  1. Tax Returns: Recent federal and state tax returns can give a clear picture of your financial situation.


  1. Marital and Family Information: Marriage certificate, prenuptial agreements, divorce decrees, and information regarding any previous marriages. Also, provide a list of family members and other potential beneficiaries, including their names, dates of birth, and your relationship to them.


  1. Beneficiary Designations: Documents showing beneficiary designations for life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other accounts where beneficiaries are named directly.


  1. Information on Fiduciaries: Names and contact information for anyone you’re considering as an executor, trustee, guardian for minor children, or agents for power of attorney and healthcare directives.


  1. Details of Inheritances or Gifts: Information about any expected inheritances or significant gifts you plan to leave, particularly if there are specific conditions attached.


  1. Charitable Giving Wishes: Information on any charitable contributions or bequests you wish to make as part of your estate plan.


  1. Special Instructions: Any special instructions or wishes, including funeral arrangements or particular bequests.


  1. Questions and Concerns: A list of questions, concerns, or specific goals you have regarding your estate plan. This can include issues like care for a special needs family member, succession planning for a business, or how to minimize estate taxes.

Bringing these documents and information to your initial consultation will help the attorney understand your situation better, provide accurate advice, and tailor an estate plan to your specific needs. If you are ready to begin your estate planning journey, call Roth Elder Law PLLC at 607-962-6162 or complete this intake form to schedule a meeting and secure your legacy today. If you have questions about what to bring, feel free to reach out to our office ahead of time and we would be happy to offer guidance.

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We at Roth Elder Law, PLLC, believe in providing services in a way that clients can easily understand and meaningfully participate in designing and maintaining their estate plan for their loved ones, as well as be assured that their plan will be administered according to their wishes.